This is just one of the more dumbfounding things I’ve seen in a while. From an article posted to the Huffington Post today:
Mitt Romney has been determined to resist releasing his tax returns at least since his bid for Massachusetts governor in 2002 and has been confident that he will never be forced to do so, several current and former Bain executives tell The Huffington Post. Had he thought otherwise, say the sources based on their longtime understanding of Romney, he never would have gone forward with his run for president.
So the first thing we have to do is remind ourselves to take this story with a grain of salt. These are unnamed sources, talking to an online news source, and the story itself is facially just speculation.
That said…I mean, this story is just incredible. Let’s assume that these sources are right, and Mitt Romney actually never would have run for President if he thought it meant revealing his old tax returns. If that’s true, well, the first question is, what could possibly be on there that he so desperately wants to keep quiet? Did he not pay any taxes in some of those years? Did he pull a GE and actually get money back from the government? Is it possible that he actually cheated on his taxes? What could possibly be serious enough that it would make Mitt Romney not run for President?
And even if we decide that Romney probably didn’t do anything that warrants hiding on its own (de?)merits, and Romney simply cares that deeply about his financial privacy, what would that fact say about his mental preparedness to be President. How could he fail to understand that the modern President is the least private person in American society? How could he really believe that strongly that he could keep tax records private? I’m dumbfounded.
Also – and I almost daren’t say this aloud because it’s so irresponsibly and stupidly speculative – what if the pressure keeps building on Romney to release those returns and he’s forced into a spot where he has to either release them or face certain defeat? Is it possible Romney would actually drop out in advance of the GOP convention to avoid the release? Would that be the most dramatic political occurrence of all time? I’m so excited to see what happens.